As the market for industrial Ethernet at the device level continues to expand and the technology itself continues to develop, so too do the value propositions the network offers to its growing base of constituents. Ethernet as a platform for horizontal and vertical integration remains a significant driver behind continued growth, according to a report by the ARC Advisory Group. However, the stark contrast between its use as an integration platform versus a control network serving machine, motion, or process control is indicative of the growing range of potential applications - and iterations.
While the high-level industrial Ethernet value propositions of faster data rates, greater bandwidth, and leveraging of largely COTS technology cross all applications, the application disparities reduce the prospects for commonality, limiting ultimate business benefit. For example, while the goal for some is to use industrial Ethernet as a horizontal and vertical integration platform throughout the operation, this is not practical for those who maintain a tiered approach to industrial networks.